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Fiorentina snub Blues approach – reports

first_imgItalian media are reporting that Fiorentina have rejected an approach from Chelsea for forward Stevan Jovetic.It is claimed Chelsea made an initial offer of £21m for the 22-year-old, who has scored 12 Serie A goals this season.Fiorentina sporting diector Vincenzo Guerini has declared that the player will not be sold cheaply.Guerini told Radio CRC: “We want to build the team around him, but today the word untransferable doesn’t exist.“If an indecent proposal were made – and it is possible that one will arrive – we would take that into consideration.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Antonio Brown has filed a second helmet grievance against the NFL, report says

first_imgAntonio Brown showed up to the last day of Raiders training camp Monday morning, presumably putting to bed the unrest that had surrounded him over the last several weeks.But that presumption was apparently wrong.Brown filed a second grievance against the NFL Monday seeking to be allowed to wear his preferred Schutt Air Advantage helmet, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. His initial grievance was denied early last week. It’s not immediately clear how this filing differs from that one.The …last_img read more

Ready, Aim, Flower

first_imgHow does a plant know the time to flower?  A new study describes a process involving genes, sunlight sensors, switches, clocks, feedback loops and messages.The research, published in Science,1  focused on a protein that is sensitive to day length.  The longer the day, the more the protein is produced.  Its activity is controlled by the circadian clock, a set of genes and proteins that keep time in all plants and animals.  In the lab plant Arabidopsis, this protein, named FKF1, is allowed (when the days become long enough) to activate another protein that activates flowering.  This second protein, though, has to travel from the leaves where it is made to the tips of the stem.  There, it turns on the flowering system.The paper described the complexity of the system:The FKF1 photoperiod sensor uses multiple, partially redundant switches to allow strong activation in long days. As the Sun rises higher in the sky each day when spring approaches, plants can sense the increased intensity in the blue-light range of the spectrum each afternoon through multiple photoreceptors, including FKF1. The complexity of this mechanism even in a temperate species such as Arabidopsis suggests that it has the flexibility to regulate successful reproduction in a wide range of environments.In other words, their lab plant has probably one of the simpler systems.  Seasonal response is probably even more complex in some plants and animals, but even bacteria are known to have circadian clocks of Paley-like complexity.  Neither the paper nor the summary on PhysOrg mentioned evolution.1. Song, Smith et al., “FKF1 Conveys Timing Information for CONSTANS Stabilization in Photoperiodic Flowering,” Science 25 May 2012:Vol. 336 no. 6084 pp. 1045-1049, DOI: 10.1126/science.1219644.No comment, except: Darwin lovers, when are you going to face the reality that Paley was right? (10/31/2008). (Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Photo library: Development 1

first_imgClick on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Development contact sheet (625KB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Sign for acommunity Park in Alexandra township’s East Bank. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Two-storey low-cost walkup housing project in Alexandra township’s EastBank. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Two-storey low-cost walkup housing project in Alexandra township’s EastBank. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Two-storey low-cost walkup housing project in Alexandra township’s EastBank. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Low-cost housingproject adjacent to Freedom Square in Kliptown, Soweto.Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Construction inprogress on Park Station,set to be the main terminalof the Gautrain rapidrail link. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Two-storey low-cost walkup housing project in Alexandra township’s EastBank. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: First National Bank’s Ikezi Agency in Dobonsonville, Soweto. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gautengprovince: Dobonsonville,Soweto. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image DEVELOPMENT 1: {loadposition dev}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library?Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

Nigerian project wins top award

first_imgCows to Kilowatts takes abattoir waste and converts it into a low-cost renewable energy source. (Image: stock.xchng) An innovative Nigerian project that processes abattoir water and converts the collected organic waste into fertiliser and methane, has won the 2009 Intel Environment prize at the annual Tech Awards in the US.The Tech Awards, held this year in San Jose, California, in November, honoured creativity and inventiveness across a range of fields, including the environment, education, science, health and more.The project, titled Cows to Kilowatts, was founded by civil engineer Dr Joseph Adelgan. In developing countries especially, abattoir waste is a major source of water pollution and greenhouse gas production. Through the processing of organic waste, the project helps mitigate one of the biggest threats to the future of the planet, as well as promote the use and benefits of renewable energy.Adelgan is the founder of the Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research (Gneeder), an NGO that that works in poor urban communities to improve quality of life, reduce air pollution and create cheap sources of domestic energy.The organisation is currently working on another power-generating project for impoverished West Africans, using cassava factory waste.Projects are based in Nigeria and Ghana at the moment, but there are plans to roll them out in other sub-Saharan countries.Keeping water cleanIn Nigeria regulation of abattoir waste is lax, and there are few facilities for water treatment. In Ibadan, the country’s second biggest city, waste from the Bodija Municipal Abattoir used to run out into open drains. These are connected to surface water sources, which resulted in severe contamination of groundwater with pathogens such as salmonella, Escherichia coli, and the deadly Rift Valley fever virus.The waste water from this abattoir has an extremely high biochemical oxygen demand, which is an indicator of organic pollution. Communities living in the area had no choice but to use the contaminated water, so the situation was desperate.“People were drinking from shallow wells,” said Adelgan in an interview, “and people in the neighbourhood were getting sick. They didn’t understand why they were getting sick.”Cows to Kilowatts started off as a collaborative project between Gneeder, the Centre for Youth, Family and the Law, and the Sustainable Ibadan project. The initial goal was merely to treat the abattoir waste in an effluent plant, rendering it less harmful to communities and the environment and preventing groundwater pollution.However, the team soon came across a related problem – the decomposing organic waste that was releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Both are greenhouse gases, but methane is 23 times more lethal in bringing about climate change than carbon dioxide.A new strategy using biogas technology was introduced. Applicable on both large and small scales, the process uses reactors to digest organic waste and convert it into low-cost energy.The three founding organisations joined up with scientists at the Biogas Technology Research Centre at Thailand’s King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi, and with funding from the UN Development Programme in Nigeria, they designed and built a pilot biogas plant in Ibadan. This uses an anaerobic fixed film digester to break down the waste. The resulting sludge is turned into high-quality organic fertiliser, and methane and carbon dioxide are collected before they can dissipate into the atmosphere and cause harm.The plant supplies around 5 400 cylinders of biogas per month, which is used for cooking, electricity generation, and to power vehicles – at just 25% of the cost of liquefied natural gas. Furthermore, the organic fertiliser is sold to farmers at a fraction of the cost of chemical fertiliser.Poor families often have to rely on kerosene, paraffin and wood for heating, cooking and light, which pollute the air in the home. By using biogas they not only improve their living conditions, but also help curb deforestation, as the demand for wood drops.Honouring innovationEstablished in 2001, the Tech Awards came about as a result of the State of the Future report, a publication of the Millennium Project of the American Council of the United Nations University. The report stated that acknowledgement of innovation through awards is a valuable tool for stimulating scientific and technological breakthroughs to improve people’s quality of life.The Tech Awards programme pays tribute to technology that enables people to live a better life. It honours 15 enterprising projects in five categories: health, education, equality, the environment, and economic development. There are three winners in each category, and the top five laureates walk away with US$50 000 (R378 717) each.Laureates are then inducted into the Tech Awards Network, which provides opportunities for learning, networking and collaboration.last_img read more

Tackling Sun City’s golf courses

first_img25 November 2010The Gary Player and Lost City golf courses at Sun City may offer top-quality challenges for serious golfers, but do they also offer an enjoyable challenge for those with high handicaps? We set off to find out – and to answer a few other nagging questions about a casino resort with apartheid-era origins.Sun City occupies an ambiguous place in the minds of many South Africans.On the one hand, it symbolises glitz, glamour and family fun, while the architectural excesses of the Lost City complex represent hotel magnate Sol Kerzner’s entrepreneurial daring.On the other hand, located in the former black homeland of Bophuthatswana, Sun City has its origins in apartheid’s Bantustan system. In recent years – as other casino complexes have sprung up around the country – it has been unable to escape the tawdriness often associated with gambling venues.The golf courses at Sun City evoke similarly two-sided responses.During South Africa’s sporting isolation, the Million Dollar Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club was one of few events able to lure famous sportsmen to the country. Post-apartheid, the tournament, in its later incarnation as the Nedbank Golf Challenge, flourished, as audiences delighted in watching local heroes Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and company take on the world’s best on home turf.The Lost City course was added in 1993, boasting crocodile-filled water hazards and Africa-shaped greens.Yet nagging questions remain. Should Seve Ballesteros, Bernard Langer, Ian Woosnam and company have come to the country with the apartheid regime still firmly in place? Where do we place South African golfers such as David Frost and Fulton Allem, who won in the late 1980s and early 1990s?Was the Lost City layout conceived as a top quality course or a gimmick to attract tourists daunted by the championship Gary Player Country Club course? Will the Nedbank Golf Challenge struggle, as it has done in recent years, to attract the world’s top professional golfers?With the likes of Robert Allenby, Anders Hansen, Eduardo Molinari, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and local favourites Louis Oosthuizen, Tim Clark, Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen travelling to Sun City in December for the 30th edition of the tournament, the last question doesn’t seem to need an answer.Million-dollar courseFor most amateurs, serious golfers and weekend hackers alike, there is another important question: will I get my money’s worth? After all, the cost of playing at either course is substantial. Both have more or less maintained their places in Golf Digest magazine’s rankings over the years – the Gary Player is a regular second, the Lost City fluctuates between the ‘teens and twenties – and with this status comes high expectations.I was unsure what to expect when I joined a party of 12 guys driving west out of Johannesburg for a golfing weekend (unsure about the golf, that is; I took it for granted that there would be plenty of banter, braaivleis and probably also some bad luck at the blackjack tables). We were a group of 30-somethings, of the generation who grew up listening to the theme song of the Million Dollar Challenge as the soundtrack to a first week of school holidays spent glued to the television:“It’s the million-dollar shotSo give it all you’ve gotAnd you could be the hero of the day!It’s the million-dollar shotAnd if you play it hotYou could have a million dollars coming your way…”As a result, the Gary Player course had become sacred terrain to us – our adolescent golfing heroes walked on its fairways, its bunkers and water hazards and greens were their epic battle grounds. We had spent years imagining what it would be like to play its iconic holes: the par-five ninth with the island green, the equally lengthy 14th with the enormous bunker and its deadly love grass, the 18th with its dog-leg to the left over the lake and fountain.In real life, the course did not disappoint. It was in fine but unforgiving condition; the kikuyu grass rough, which had been kept fairly short for the 2009 Nedbank Golf Challenge, had grown syrupy-thick by the time we visited some months later.Never mind the bushveld – what really makes a round at the Gary Player so tough is the wide fringe of unmowed kikuyu around the regulation terrain. Miss the narrow fairways by more than a couple of metres and your ball can be plugged or even disappear.At under 6 000m off the club tees, it isn’t a long course, although the championship tees add another 500m, and that is doubled off the pro tees. But the Black Knight, as Player is known, has designed a course requiring accuracy.While the ninth, 14th and 18th may lend themselves to impressive television camera angles, amateur golfers find unexpected challenges at the par-three fourth, where their shots fly downhill over water, a limited view of the fairway from the 11th tee, and bunkers in the line of a decent drive on the 17th, as well as the watersports lake skirting the approach to the green.Our caddies, who knew the course backwards, kept us entertained with light-hearted quips when they realised that we weren’t scratch golfers.Tranquil settingThe Lost City golfing experience is markedly different in some respects – carts are compulsory, for instance – but the service is similarly polished. After struggling through the first eight holes under the baking Pilansberg sun, there’s a certain comfort in being asked to place your halfway house order before you walk onto the ninth tee.The view from the Lost City clubhouse, over the lake that divides the ninth and 18th fairways, is picturesque. One can’t necessarily say the same thing of the view towards the clubhouse, which is built of the same artificial orange-brown rocks as the Valley of the Waves and other structures in the vicinity.But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, the sight of the Palace of the Lost City’s turrets rising above thorn tree scrub is pretty impressive. There are vistas aplenty over the bush, koppies and savannah plains that surround and sometimes form part of the course, especially from the elevated tees of numerous holes on the back nine (11 and 13 to 16).The pleasure of playing the Lost City course is, in fact, partly attributable to distractions from golf: the birdlife is abundant, it isn’t unusual to see some variety of buck or a metre-long monitor lizard crossing the cart path, and even the odd elephant can be spotted brooding behind the out-of-bounds fence. It goes without saying that the inhabitants of the crocodile pit at the signature 13th hole are a drawcard, to overseas golfers in particular.Nonetheless, while it is a less punishing layout than the Gary Player, this is one of those courses about which the most mundane advice remains applicable: take a lot of balls.The description of the Lost City as a desert course – and when you’re standing in the larger bunkers, it can feel like the Kalahari – shouldn’t be taken as an indication of wide open space. There is plenty of thick stuff lining the fairways, and precision driving is a challenge if you’re playing off the back tees, in which case the course measures an intimidating 6 900m in length.So, back to some of those tricky questions. Can the twin Sun City courses be both top-quality challenges for serious golfers and “fun” for those with high handicaps? Undoubtedly. Have they left behind the taint of apartheid in the 1980s? Happily. And will they continue to offer excellent value for the locals and international visitor? If the experience of twelve high-handicapping, admittedly nostalgic, yet not easily impressed golfers on tour is the benchmark, then the answer is a resounding yes.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Freedom rediscovered

first_imgNelson Mandela casting his vote in 1994. June 26, 2013 will mark 58 years since the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown way back in 1955.(Images: Wikimedia)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mack LeweleDirector, communicationsDepartment of Arts and Culture+27 12 441 3083 or +27 82 450 5076Cadine PillayThis year, South Africa celebrates 19 years of freedom, with this freedom marked in April. It is vital that every South African – the apartheid survivors and the born-frees – know the history of the freedom struggle.Freedom Day is observed on 27 April, a national public holiday. On this day in 1994, the country held its first non-racial democratic elections that ended 300 years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule, and established a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC).It is recorded in South African history as a day that paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution.The Freedom CharterAnother, earlier, milestone on the march to freedom in apartheid South Africa came in the form of the Freedom Charter, a unique document that allowed the people of South Africa to be actively involved in formulating their own vision of a different society. In it, the existing order of oppression and exploitation that dominated the 1950s was entirely rejected.The Freedom Charter was significant because it embodied the hopes and aspirations of black people in South Africa at that time. Its opening words became widely known and still hold a powerful position in South Africa’s political discourse: “We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.”It was first proposed at the annual assembly of the ANC in August 1953. Professor ZK Mathews formally suggested convening a Congress of the People to draw up a Freedom Charter.The idea was then adopted by the ANC’s allies, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Coloured People’s Organisation and the South African Congress of Democrats.In 1955, these allies sent out 50 000 volunteers into townships and the countryside to collect what they called “freedom demands” from the people of South Africa – this system was designed to give all South Africans equal rights.Demands such as sharing the wealth of the country and adequate housing, education, and health care for all were then synthesised into the final document by Congress of the People leaders including Mathews, Lionel Bernstein and Alan Lipman.‘The people shall govern’The Freedom Charter was officially ratified on 26 June 1955 at a Congress of the People meeting in Kliptown near Johannesburg. The meeting was attended by about 3 000 delegates but was broken up by police on the second day, although by then the charter had been read in full.The crowd had shouted its approval of each section with cries of “Africa!” and “Mayibuye!”, a Zulu word meaning “bringing back what was lost”. Over the next four decades, the charter came to represent ANC policies formulating basic demands for human and political rights that had been included in previous petitions.“South Africa belongs to all who live in it” and “All shall be equal before the law” are other well-known and oft-repeated declarations in the charter. It pledged to continue the struggle until a new democratic order was put in place, and called for democracy and human rights, land reform, labour rights, and nationalisation.After the congress was denounced as treason, the apartheid government banned the ANC and other parties, and arrested 156 activists, including Mandela. However, the charter continued to circulate in the revolutionary underground and inspired a new generation of young militants in the 1980s to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).Translated as “spear of the nation”, Umkhonto we Sizwe was the armed wing of the ANC and was co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the early 1960s. MK soldiers took up arms against the apartheid government, both at home and in exile.On 11 February 1990, Mandela was finally freed and the ANC came to power in May 1994 after the elections that April. The new Constitution of South Africa, drawn up through multi-party talks between anti-apartheid groups and the government of the time, that began with Codesa (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) in December 1991, included in its text many of the demands called for in the Freedom Charter. Nearly all the concerns regarding equality of race and language were directly addressed in the Constitution.Non-racial, democratic electionsThe first non-racial election marked the end of years of struggle. It came after a tumultuous few years in the beginning of the 1990s. Liberation organisations were unbanned; political prisoners were released; exiles returned; negotiations and talks were held between previous foes, ending in the formal all-party negotiations in which an interim constitution was drafted.Though there were threats of political violence, the elections took place in a peaceful and festive atmosphere. They were contested by 19 political parties – a huge jump from the three main parties of apartheid South Africa, namely the ruling National Party, the official opposition Conservative Party (CP), and the Democratic Party (DP).The main parties in the election were products of political formations that were significant in the years leading to 1994. They include the ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party, the NP, the DP, the Pan Africanist Congress and the Azanian People’s Organisation.Know your rightsToday, the Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa as it protects the rights of all people in the country and upholds the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. The country’s first bill of rights was restricted in chapter three of the transitional constitution of 1993, which was drawn up as part of the negotiations to end apartheid. The interim bill of rights, which came into force on 27 April 1994, was limited to civil and political rights.The current Bill of Rights, which replaced the interim one on 4 February 1997, retained all of these rights and added a number of new positive economic, social and cultural rights. The Bill of Rights is briefly summarised in the following statements:Equality: you cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.Human dignity: your dignity must be respected and protected.Life: you have the right to life.Freedom and security of the person: you cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour: slavery and forced labour are not allowed.Privacy: you cannot be searched nor have your homes or possessions searched.Freedom of religion, belief and opinion: you can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.Freedom of expression: all people (including the press) can say whatever they want, subject to certain limitations including hate speech, incitement to violence, and propaganda that may lead to war.Freedom of assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: you can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition, but you must do this peacefully.Freedom of association: you can associate with whomever you want.Freedom of political rights: you can support the political party of your choice, and if you are a citizen, and at least 18 years old, you can vote.Citizenship: your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.Freedom of movement and residence: you can travel in and live anywhere in South Africa.Freedom of trade, occupation and profession: you can do whatever work you choose.Labour relations: you may join trade unions and go on strike.Environment: you have the right to a healthy environment.Property: your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.Housing: the government must make sure people get access to proper housing.Health care, food, water and social security: the government must make sure you have access to food and water, health care, and social security.Education: you have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).Language and culture: you can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.Cultural, religious and linguistic communities: communities can enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion, and use their own language.Access to information: you have the right to any information held by the government or another person, especially if the information is needed to protect rights.Just administrative action: actions by the government must be fair, and people who have been affected by unfair administrative action are entitled to a written explanation.Access to courts: you can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.To protection: when arrested, detained or accused, and to a fair hearing.Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.A more detailed explanation of the Bill of Rights is available online.last_img read more

Test Your Green Readiness — Part 1

first_imgGoing green is a business decision, and it is no small undertaking. Going green has to have a purpose. You do not want to go green just because everyone else is doing it. You need to be able to quantify its benefits for your business, your personal life, and your community.Going green has to make business sense for you and your home building business. It should reflect what your company is passionate about and how you want to position it in the marketplace to ensure its future success. In this manner, you will earn the respect and trust of the public, customers, prospects, and industry peers as a company that is genuine in its pursuit of helping people, the community, and the planet. Genuine purpose will avoid accusations of “greenwashing,” in which a company claims to be green for marketing purposes only.Consumer demand is the main driver for green construction. Although green building is currently strictly voluntary, those who seize the opportunities today will be the success stories we’ll read about tomorrow.Following is a list of tips to going green.1. Define your business purposeThis is vital. Your message needs to be clear to the market you currently serve or are trying to reach. Going green is not simply updating your logo and adding a few energy-efficient features to the homes you build: It reflects your commitment and contribution to making the world a better place while still making a profit. Whatever you are passionate about will automatically manifest itself in your speech and deeds. You want to be sure you do something because it is in your heart to do it, and it makes business sense for your company. Otherwise, displeasure and discontent could cause unnecessary stress; in more extreme situations, it could even damage your reputation as a company.2. Organize your worldOrder reflects a person’s quality of life both personally and professionally. Create a list of your company’s priorities and business goals. As you study the different local and national green building programs, look for those that best align with your business and personal goals. Share your findings and thoughts with your business partners and team members for feedback. Study what others are doing and what seems to be working for them. You could even contact successful builders that are outside your area and ask them about how the green building business is working for them. You may be surprised at how much information others are willing to share if you’re only willing to ask!Want to increase your productivity? Declutter your workspace and update your office environment with things that excite you. Want to destress? Schedule your personal time. We business owners tend to work our tails off and give priority to everything and everyone else but ourselves! I love what Heather Diodati recommends in her article “12 Easy Ways to Organize Your Life”: “Schedule Fun Time! Make sure that you include some personal time for you. Make an appointment for yourself, and keep it, even if it’s only a leisurely 20-minute bubble bath or a 15-minute walk in the fresh spring air!” Awesome advice!3. Have a written business planA large percentage of businesses fail due to lack of planning. Your business plan is your road map. It should include your goals, your market research, and your sales and marketing models, among other important pieces of information. Focus on the things that need attention first, and create tasks under each of those categories. Use your business plan as a reference point and tool to measure your accomplishments. Your goals plus your actions will result in your success!4. Select a program that most mirrors your business goalsThere are many great green building programs, such as LEED for Homes, the new National Green Building Standard, the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, and regional or local programs. Once you select the program that best fits your company’s goals and construction guidelines, compare your list against the program’s checklist and further investigate those items that you would need to incorporate to achieve the different levels of certification for your homes.Going green is a big business. You can get your share of the green pie through strategic planning. Don’t get left behind!Read Part 2 >>last_img read more

Ten Common Mistakes Made By New Home Builders

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Designers and builders who do their homework before construction begins have few problems. Unfortunately, some projects happen backwards: the design and construction are well under way before the homework begins. That type of project can be problematic.At GBA, we see examples of the latter group all the time. Designers, builders, or homeowners who are in the middle of a construction project will post basic questions on our Q&A page. “I’m looking at the rafters and trying to decide how we should insulate the roof,” they write, or “We’re trying to figure out the best place to put the HRV.”Answering these questions is part of my job; however, I don’t look forward to another ten years of similar questions. I’d rather be unemployed.To help reach that goal — putting me out of the Q&A business — I’m providing a list of ten common mistakes. Let’s banish these blunders. Mistake #1: Forgot to install raised-heel trusses Raised-heel trusses should provide enough vertical space above the top plates of the exterior walls to allow for the installation of a generous depth of cellulose or fiberglass insulation, plus about 2 1/2 inches for a ventilation baffle and an air space.For a code-minimum home in Alabama, raised-heel trusses might need only 13 inches of vertical clearance at the top plates, while a pretty good house in northern Maine might need 19 inches of vertical clearance. First, figure out how much insulation you want to install, and then let the truss company know your needs when you place your truss order. Mistake #2: The insulation contractor did a bad job of installing fiberglass batts This age-old problem is still with us, as Carl Seville’s many blogs on the… center_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

Cisco Hires Barclays To Help It Off-Load Linksys

first_imgRelated Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Wardrivers take note: You may not have as many Linksys routers to hack if Cisco’s rumored sale of its consumer-facing Linksys unit actually happens. Well, you will, but the technology may be in a whole other form.The name “Linksys” was synonymous with home-network routers throughout the world, as driving with a Wi-Fi device down most streets will demonstrate. I can go out into my backyard right now and find three Linksys networks in range (along with a couple of Netgear routers and a whole bunch of AT&T U-Verse and Comcast routers).The proliferation of AT&T U-Verse and Comcast routers may be one of the reasons why Bloomberg is reporting that Cisco has hired investment-bank Barclays Plc. to sell the Linksys unit, which Cisco bought with much fanfare for $500 million in 2003.Cisco is not commenting on this news, so one should take it with the requisite grain of salt. But the move would match Cisco’s pattern of dumping its consumer businesses. In April 2011, Cisco announced it would shut down its Flip camera business. The idea was — and still is — to get back to Cisco’s priorities: “core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video.”Presumably Linksys would not fall into core routing, but one would imagine that Cisco might make an exception for its subsidiary if Linksys were bringing in significant money.When Cisco picked up Linksys for a mere half-billion dollars, it was estimated that router maker had something like 39% of the home-networking market. Orders for Linksys products have since weakened significantly. In 2010, In-Stat said Linksys’ revenue amounted to just 9% of total revenue for the market segment.One reason why Linksys may have stumbled so far could be broadband providers policy of leasing equipment to customers — equipment that comes as part of the deal for most broadband contracts. While tech-savvy consumers are more likely to save the monthly equipment rental fee to go buy something else on their own, a majority of subscribers won’t bother.Linksys devices were occasionally part of the packages offered by the broadband firms, but not often enough to change its fate.For these people, the rental cost is transparent; just something that’s part of the monthly bill. Plus, setting up a router on your own, when the one that the broadband provider gave you is working just fine seems silly to them. Normally, I could get haughty about security, but when my provider came in to install its box, the installers actually gave me a good lecture about changing the router’s default password. (I sent the router back, but just to save the money.)This will not be the end of Linksys, of course. There is already speculation that the technology will shift to the set-top box sector, and that’s a pretty good guess. It’s a very sure bet that Cisco won’t get nearly the price that it paid for the company nine years ago. But that will have to be the price Cisco pays to for its realignment.center_img Tags:#networking brian proffitt Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more